'SALAD' aims to improve student leadership
February 26, 2007 —
Students looking to better their leadership skills converged on Curtiss Hall this weeekend to participate in Seeking Alliances through Leadership and Diversity, or SALAD.
Taking place on Saturday, the six-hour workshop was designed to encourage awareness of cultural differences between students and teach them how to become the next leaders on campus.
The well-attended event, which took place on Saturday, began at 10 a.m. and ran through 4 p.m.
During SALAD, students participated in activities called "case studies," which prepared them to create an action plan for the community.
Campuspeak, an Aurora, Colorado-based organization, routinely provides the SALAD workshop to campus leaders throughout the nation. The organization hires representatives from all over the country to provide speakers and facilitation services to leaders on college campuses. Although SALAD is the main focus of the organization. The program provides several other services as well.
Leading the workshop on Saturday was Connecticut Representative Jessica Coltz. After hearing about the program in 2001 through her sorority, she decided to join. One aspect of the program that appealed to her was the interaction with college students.
"I really enjoy meeting college students and seeing what they do on their campus," said Coltz. "I find it interesting to hear about the events they put on as well as what traditions they follow."
One activity required the student leaders to get into groups of four or five people and act as though they were operating a student organization. After brainstorming a list of values they found important, a mock auction was held.
Each group was allotted $1,000 to spend on the values in order to create the best student organization. Some of the prospective values included service, commitment, following through, honesty, and innovation.
Service was the most expensive value, priced at $700. Student Association representative Vanessa Gayles was one of the members in the group that purchased service as one of their values.
"Our goal is to ultimately serve other people," she said. "We may have even spent all $1,000 on service."
When Coltz asked the students to explain their strategies for acquiring their desired values, the groups had similar ideas.
"First on our list was commitment," said Program Board President Crystal Dillard. "We set a number on it and didn't plan on spending any more."
Regardless of their past experience, the participants were able to experience a unique opportunity to work with other leaders. The campus community is constantly looking for additional programs, and these students learned ways in which they can implement them.